Aaron Plant
Photographer
EVENT: Adult Sex Toys & Children's Playground Toys, at FotoCircle Gallery through Feb 3.

What's the connection between sex toys and playgrounds? How did you get there? "I personally would not have shown the two together--that was a FotoCircle decision. But I definitely think it works together conceptually. They're two completely separate bodies of work that address two totally different concerns. They link together in that they're playthings. With the sex toys, I was trying to take this thoroughly loaded subject matter with its dirty connotations and make it clean and clinical, completely abstracted so you couldn't tell what it was. And the playground series--the series is actually called Not for Children--takes a subject that's all about children and makes it scary and uninviting and menacing. That's why they're photographed at night--playgrounds are sort of forbidden territory at night. Someplace you're not supposed to be. There are some photographs that have children in them, but we chose not to use those."

It's much spookier without them. "Actually they're really spooky with the children. You never see their faces, and they're very still and stare out into the blackness. But it definitely gets into a different connotation."

The sex toy photographs don't look clinical to me. They seem kind of gooey. "It's more of a clean presentation than dirty or sordid. They have a very loaded meaning, and that's part of the allure of abstraction, trying to abstract the shapes and pull them out and make them look like something else. With both series, I have a weird passion for the object itself. I think [sex toys] are such beautiful, beautiful objects. I love photographing them--they're so shiny, clear, and just gorgeous. And [the playgrounds], too. Part of the reason I wanted to photograph them is that they're disappearing. They're ripping them down and replacing them with these generic, new, safe playground structures. They all look exactly the same.

Some of the old playgrounds are pretty dangerous, though. "But really fun."

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